Planets

The area that includes Chryse Planitia, Acidalia Planitia and Arabia Terra (a,c) with the close-up of a promontory (c) (Image J. Alexis Palmero Rodriguez)

An article published in the journal “Nature” presents a study that describes two possible mega-tsunamis that shook the surface of the planet Mars more than three billion years ago. According to a team led by J. Alexis Palmero Rodriguez of the Planetary Science Institute two meteorites hit Mars a few million years from each other but with similar effects. Perhaps at that time there was an ocean of liquid water and the impacts raised waves up to 120 meters (almost 400 fett) which engulfed large areas of the mainland.

Artistic representation of the biggest dwarf planets in the solar system (Image Konkoly Observatory/András Pál, Hungarian Astronomical Association/Iván Éder, NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)

An article published in “The Astronomical Journal” describes a research on a trans-Neptunian object called 2007 OR10. A team of astronomers used NASA’s Kepler space telescope and archive data of ESA’s Herschel space telescope’s observations to study this celestial body. The result is that they discovered that it’s much bigger than it looked and is probably a dwarf planet.

Topographic map of the planet Mercury (Image USGS)

NASA’s MESSENGER mission has published the first complete topographical map of the planet Mercury. To be precise, it’s a Digital Elevation Model (DEM), a representation of the elevation distribution of territory, or of another surface, in digital format. It’s the product of the processing of data collected by the MESSENGER space probe during its mission ended just over a year ago.

Crater in Memnonia Fossae (Image DLR)

The German space agency DLR published photos of a curious crater marked by a deep rift that splits it in two in the area of ​​Mars called Memnonia Fossae. These are photos taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), one of the instruments of ESA’s Mars Express space probe.